LYNDEN - After more than 30 years of helping people find the right card for the right occasion, Carol Preston of Carol's Hallmark is closing up shop.
"I've been here 33 years and I'm 75 years old," Preston said, "so it's time to retire."
Preston's lease is up at the end of April, so she plans on closing the store, at 412 Front St., shortly before then. Starting Wednesday, March 6, everything in the store was marked down 40 percent to clear items out before the closure.
Once she's retired, Preston plans on spending time with her children and grandchildren, and though she'll do some traveling, she'll stay in Lynden.
"Lynden has always been very supportive of this store," she said. "It's a good town."
Preston said she'll be sad to part with employees she's worked with at the store over the years, including manager Kim Bonsen, who has worked there for 27 years.
"I'll miss my girls and I'll miss the people in Lynden, but I think I won't miss working so much," she said.
The store has seen some rough times: It closed for two months after being damaged by smoke and water from a fire that ravaged nearby Delft Square in 2008, and the down economy since then has been tough. For the most part, though, Preston said she's loved her time at the shop.
"I always wanted to have a Hallmark store," Preston said. "People come in here because they want to do something for someone else. It's kind of a happy, fun place to work."